Tibet gets first bullet train, links Lhasa to India border

What is the news?  

China has started operating the first bullet train line in Tibet, connecting the provincial capital Lhasa with Nyingchi – a strategically located Tibetan border town close to Arunachal Pradesh.  

Lhasa-Nyingchi rail line  
  • Train link would connect the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region to the border city of Nyingchi with a travel time of three and a half hours.  
  • Over 90% of the track is 3000m above sea-level and the line is the first electrified high-speed rail (HSR) line, as China refers to bullet trains, in Tibet. China has the world’s longest HSR network 
  • The Lhasa-Nyingchi rail is one section of the Sichuan-Tibet railway line.  
  • The Sichuan-Tibet Railway line will be the second railway line into Tibet after the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.   
Why this latest development is significant for India?  

India is following the development of the new railway closely because of it’s proximity to Arunachal Pradesh. As per a report,  

  • Enhanced mobility for PLA: The railway route will enable China to quickly mobilize personnel of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and other defense resources in the event of a border escalation with India, like the border standoff in eastern Ladakh in May 2020.   
  • Developing border villages: China has sought to empower ‘border villages‘ in the areas bordering India’s Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim states, especially after the Doklam standoff in 2017.  

SourceThe Hindu  

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